All I want Is Industrial Harmony In NICO- NICO Boss

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The Executive Secretary, National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), Mallam Ado Muhammed Yahuza has charged the Amalgamated Union of Public Corporations, Civil Service Technical and Recreational Services Employees (AUPCTRE) labour union to work in harmony with the management of the Institute for maximum productivity, adding that, “All he wants is an industrial harmony in NICO”.

Mallam Ado Yahuza gave this charge when the delegation of the National Secretariat of the Union visited him in his office in Abuja on Tuesday, November 17, 2020 to congratulate him on his appointment as the Executive Secretary of NICO, and to explain the situation of the letter dated December 17, 2019 by the Minister of Labour and Productivity, Mr.  Nwabueze Ngige which stated in part that AUPCTRE, as a union is for junior officers on Grade Level 01 to 07.

 Yahuza speaking on the letter, earlier presented by the Association of Nigerian Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN), on Friday, October 30, 2020 requesting that the implementation of the content of the letter in the institute reiterated that since that the case is still pending in court, it would be inappropriate to discuss further on the issue rather he opined it would be appropriate to have just one union in the institute but since two unions are already existing before his assumption of office   he would work together with the two unions for harmony.

His words: “As a Director of Human Resources and a former comrade I worked with unions and so we are supposed to be partners in progress. When I came, I discovered they have two unions, I asked for the reason, and I said for the purpose of industrial harmony it would have been one union, nevertheless, I don’t want unnecessary canvassing and coarsing of any staff to belong to a particular union. We are partners in progress”.

The Comrade ES also informed the delegation about the institute’s plans to train its staff; having a conducive working environment; and provision of working tools which according to him have been captured in 2021 budget of the institute. This he said are paramount for maximum productivity. He further explained that NICO staff will be participating in the forth-coming Public Service Institute’s e-governance training in Kubwa, Abuja in order to enhance their leadership skills and make them effective and productive in their specific job schedules. 

 Interestingly, Ado Yahuza promised to make staff welfare a top priority. Buttressing that the 2020 end of the year staff welfare package will be provided no matter how little according to the resources available at the management’s disposal. He, however, enjoined the union leaders to monitor the activities of its members on truancy, punctuality to work so as to justify their pay.  

Earlier, the leader of the delegation and National President of Amalgamated Union of Public Corporations, Civil Service Technical and Recreational Services Employees (AUCPTRE), Mr. Anthony Benjamin congratulated the NICO Boss on his appointment and assured him of the union’s unalloyed support and cooperation. He, however, debunked the claim by the delegation of Association of Nigerian Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN) who visited earlier that, AUPCTRE union is not for junior staff only but for both senior and junior officers of government.  

Mr. Benjamin explained that the letter cited by ASCSN from Minister of Labour and Productivity dated December 17, 2019 is pending in court stating the ruling of Industrial court on the matter was not satisfactory by AUPCTRE, hence the union has appealed to Appeal Court for further action.

His words: “We are appealing to NICO management that if anybody is misinforming you please tell them the reality on ground, we are still in court. We can supply all the necessary documents. When a case is in court, nobody has the right to act on it until the court’s verdict.  NICO management should not coarse any staff to join any union. According to 2005 Labour Union Act, membership of trade union is voluntary.  Also Section 40 of our constitution says that workers have the freedom to belong to any union of their choice”, therefore, pledged the union’s total support and cooperation for industrial harmony in the institute.

Present at the Courtesy call from AUPCTRE National were Mr. Musa Ukpo, (Acting National General Secretary); Mr. Aliyu Maradon (Chairman, FCT Chapter); Mr. Briggs Diepiredo(Vice Chairman, FCT Chapter); Mr. Abdulwaheed Sikiru (Head, Industrial Relations). From NICO entourage were Mr. James Adediran (Chairman AUPCTRE NICO); Mr. Bartholomew Johnson (Vice Chairman, AUPCTRE NICO) Ibrahim Jibrin (Secretary, AUPCTRE NICO);

Njideka Dimgba

Media Unit

E S Office

Abuja